Increased Risk of Lupus Associated in People with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
New research suggests people with prior post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosis have twice the risk of subsequently developing lupus.
People enrolled in Medicaid were studied and 10,942 people with new onset lupus were matched according to race/ethnicity, sex, and age with 109,420 people without lupus. For every 1,000 people with lupus, there were 10.74 cases of PTSD, whereas for every 1,000 people without lupus, there were 7.83 cases of PTSD. After adjusting for factors associated with lupus such as obesity, smoking, and race, the researchers found the odds of developing lupus were doubled for those with a prior diagnosis of PTSD.
“This research is important to people with lupus because it demonstrates how we are searching for common pathways between lupus and other conditions, so that these can be potentially targeted in treatment or prevention of lupus. It’s also important to recognize the complex relationships between mind and body and the importance of addressing mental and physical health together,” shared Dr. Siobhan Case, lead study author
Traumatic events have been linked to immune-system changes, and previous studies have found higher rates of autoimmune diseases (in which the immune system attacks the body’s own healthy cells) among people with PTSD. More research is needed to understand the relationship between lupus and PTSD, including common pathways that could be used to treat these conditions or lower the risk of developing lupus. Learn more about managing stress when you have lupus.
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